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The empty nest is one of those things that we all experience at some point in our lives when we have children. They do grow up and they do eventually leave home.
So the question is what do we do when our children leave home? Do we still serve a purpose?
Most of our lives are so wrapped up in those of our children that once they do leave the nest, our life sometimes feels like a deflated balloon. It serves no purpose and we can just be discarded with the trash.
But that is absolutely not true and I’m here to help you find your purpose again. Find things that will keep you busy and make you happy, just like your children once did.
Pick up that deflated balloon and fill it with air. You have a lot to give and a lot to do. So, let’s figure out what it is you are going to be so busy doing that your kids will have to work around your schedule to see you!
Grow a Little Garden
There can be nothing more satisfying than being able to grow your own food. Whether you are growing a full out vegetable garden or just some pots on the patio you really should invest some time in gardening. It can really fill your time and I believe there can be nothing more fulfilling.
There are so many different ways to garden and obviously so many different things you can plant. I personally love the anticipation of waiting to see if all my hard work will pay off.
I realize depending on what part of the country you live in gardening outside might not be in your cards. But there are plenty of ways to bring your garden indoors if that is something you can do.
This indoor hydroponic herb gardening system includes everything you need to grow tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and more. It can sit right on top of your counter and does not use soil which means there is no accidental dirt messes. It includes an energy efficient LED light and a trellis for the taller plants. Even includes seed packets to get you started.
Another option if you are limited on space are these mini greenhouses. I love these because they are perfect for getting your plants started or even to use all year round. This one in particular does not need tools to assemble and if you get these grow light strips you can attach it right to the shelving. It makes gardening a breeze.
And if you are feeling adventurous and want to get some dirt on your hands. These raised bed garden boxes are super simple to use. Just find an area perfect for your new garden (not too sunny or full sun depending on your seeds). Follow the step by step directions for easy setup. Fill with the appropriate amount of soil. And BOOM! You have your own garden bed. Don’t forget the seedlings!
Last but not least do not forget to get yourself some of these handy dandy gardening tools. Especially if you will be working with soil then you will definitely need this kit in your life. It includes a tool bag, gloves, even a squirt bottle to keep your soil and plants refreshed. Everything you need all in one bag. Love this bag.
Gardening will fill your time nicely and give you purpose. You will be taking care of something, and even creating food for your family or neighbors.
Never underestimate the power of a side hustle. Like most of us I’m sure you have a full time job that takes up most of your day to day time.
However, you still have that time in the evenings or on the weekends that you could fill with something other than watching Netflix. Now do not get me wrong I love a good pajama day spent binge watching Netflix.
But not every day. Or even every weekend for that matter.
So, find something that you can do part time even for like 15-20 hours a week. Work at your favorite clothing store and get a discount on stuff you would’ve bought anyway. Go to a bakery and help decorate cakes if that is your thing. Not mine. All the cakes would come out looking like poop emojis or something really weird.
Whatever it is just do it. You already have skills to do something. So choose a skill you like to use and find a job that will fill your time. And make yourself some cash on the side. Bonus!
Now, as a suggestion, you could work with me selling clean hair and skincare products. I know that might sound crazy, but you do not even need to leave your home to do it. And if I might say so myself, the products are AMAZING!!!
So, head on over to the company site and check it out. You definitely want to try the products first, so take the quiz.
I promise you will fall in love and want to share it with everyone you know who has hair and skin. And like I said, you can sell these awesome products from the comfort of your own couch!
When you finally have your schedule all to your self. You can now put your self on the schedule. And what I mean is it is time to take care of you!
Self care is so important and it is one of the first things to go when our schedules get crazy and filled up by our families activities. But now is the time for you to put that focus back on you.
When was the last time you had a check up? Been to the dentist in awhile? What about a haircut?
These are things that are usually pushed to the side when our schedules are hectic. We make sure everyone else has their doctor or dentist appointments and our kids are the first to get their haircut.
So let’s get scheduling some appointments for ourself. Make it a regular thing. Go ahead and schedule that next hair appointment in 6-8 weeks. Why not? You will not have to worry about a game or a concert being on that day. Your kids will not need you to be helping them with homework or shopping for a prom dress.
Also, when it comes to self-care I like to think about taking some time to breathe as in meditate. I think this can be a very relaxing and soul healing practice.
And if meditating is not your thing, what about journaling? There are so many different things you can focus your journal on that you can make it about what ever you need.
You could get a journal that has prompts like this Soul Therapy Journal. It has ideas for every day of the year. Or you could get a blank journal for you to write about whatever you want like this refillable vintage leather writing journal.
When you are done journaling or meditating why not try a nice hot bubble bath. Or even a mask treatment for your hands, face, or feet or all three. You could even do an oil treatment on your hair.
Actually, you could create a whole new beauty routine for yourself. I mean no one else needs the bathroom so go ahead and schedule some time in there.
I love love love Sephora’s products and the ability to shop in store or online for all my beauty needs. Plus they are always giving away samples of new things for you to try. This is a great place for you to start when looking for a new beauty routine.
Continue Your Education
You are never too old to learn something new. Or even go back to school and finish that degree. There are so many opportunities waiting for you.
Do you have an unfinished degree or need a certificate to finally get that pay raise? Well now is the best time to go ahead and get it! You are making your own schedule remember.
Even if you are all degreed out, you could take a few classes to learn a new skill. What about learn a new language? Then you can take that fancy overseas vacay you’ve always wanted.
Rosetta Stone is one of the most effective and accessible language programs around. They have almost any language you can think of and make learning a new language engaging and fun.
If learning a new language is not really your cup of tea then you should check out Udemy. They have a full load of classes on pretty much any topic you can think of. I have taken several classes on Udemy and find their instructors knowledgeable and the class prices extremely reasonable.
Some people are just born with creative juices flowing through their bodies. Others you have to force it out of them like ketchup in a bottle!
Well if you happen to be one of those creative types now is the time to bust some moves and get those juices flowing.
And on the other hand if you are not so creative then, maybe watch a YouTube video or two on how to do something crafty!
I just know that the moment my kid left my house it was like I wanted to do all the stuff. I wanted to use my sewing machine everyday. I learned how to knit giant blankets. I made t-shirts with my Cricut.
Ahem, by the way, you need one if you don’t have one (a Cricut, that is) they are so much fun! Maybe that’s just the teacher coming out in me, but I love making stuff for my home, my classroom, my pets, my kid, my friends. It is so awesome! So, if you missed that link up there click here! I promise you will be in love!
But if the Cricut is not really your thing then cool, but find something that is. You can be creative in so many ways and think about that extra space you now have you can use for an art studio! Okay maybe not just yet but you can start making future plans!
Declutter Your Stuff
Being an empty nester means having less people in the house. You now have free reign to declutter all the rooms.
I like to use big storage bins like these to separate my stuff into piles. Then I can easily take one bin’s stuff to a donation place. Put another bins items into the trash and then the other items I am keeping are all ready to be stored away in their own bin with a lid. Easy peasy.
Creating a cleaning schedule to declutter your whole house will help keep you on track. Maybe choose one day a week. Or work a little everyday on one project until you get it done.
It is your stuff you choose how you want to declutter it. But I am here to tell you it is time.
I know you will be shocked by the amount of stuff that accumulates in your hall closet or junk drawer in the kitchen.
However you do it just do. Believe me you will feel better when it is done. And I promise once you start you will not want to stop!
Time to Redecorate
Another thing that you can do now that your nest is empty is redecorate it. A fresh coat of paint on the walls might be all you need to inspire and motivate.
You might find that redecorating is giving you a new purpose such as a side job or a hobby. Maybe you will want to go around painting all your friend’s and family’s homes.
However far you choose to take your decorating abilities is up to you but just think of how refreshing it will be to live in a house that doesn’t have all the same old stuff.
And when your kids come home to visit they will be excited to see what you have done to the place. Again, maybe do not do their old rooms just yet. But soon that will be fair game as well.
So go get some paint swatches and visit your nearest furniture store. See what changes can you can afford to make. Maybe it’s just a new coat of paint or a new set of lamps.
Whatever you can make happen do it for yourself. You will find that getting rid of the old stuff will help you bring in the new. And I am not just talking about furniture here!
But Wait…You are Not Done!
Just because everyone moved out of the house does not mean you are done parenting! You still have a purpose in parenting. It is just going to look a little different than what you are used to.
You still need to be there for them when they come back home to visit. You still need to answer their calls when they want to talk. You still need to check in on them and make sure they are eating their vegetables.
You still have a lot to do. And I know that some of this stuff we do will be worrying about them and loving them unconditionally. Those are the things we do because we are still their parents. I personally do not think we ever stop doing those things!
But that is okay. I have learned to be okay in my empty nest. I have found purpose in my life that looks different that it used to. But I am adjusting.
And my only hope is that you are adjusting as well. It is important to find ourselves and through that find our purpose. And remember even if our nest is empty, our hearts are not!
I would love to hear how you found your purpose as an empty nester. Please leave a comment below! As always, stay safe and thanks for stopping by.
If you like this post and you want to read more about empty nesting check out these other posts:
- Everything You Need to Know About Symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome So You Can Begin to Heal
- Semester Two Emotion Overload (again)
- Getting Used to The Idea?